My friend from Maine was in Amsterdam (the one in the Netherlands) when he ran into someone he knew. “How’s your dog?” asked the man.
“I don’t have a dog,” responded my friend.
Turns out his wife had just acquired one, and the Maine bush telegraph had sent the news around the world before she’d thought to let him know.
Yesterday a Camden friend said to me, “I heard you had jackstands by your garage. The next week, I heard you’d gotten yourself a boat.”
Coming from a city as I do, I was unprepared for the interest my fellow Mainers show in each other’s lives. I’m not complaining; it’s nice to know that someone will stop to pick you up if you collapse in the street.
The other thing about Mainers is that they still read newspapers, including the paper kind that gets delivered to your driveway. I didn’t even know there was still a place in America that didn’t believe ‘news’ was a Daily Mail story about Kim Kardashian’s bump.
So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I got a note from a friend in Waldoboro that read, “Hey! Is this you?” She’d sent a press release about my August 12 talk at Schoodic Institute.
My husband and I spent many years schlepping our kids to national parks for family vacations. Among the highlights were the ranger talks, where you can learn how immigrants passed through Ellis Island, or about what seismologists are doing to predict the “big one” on Mt. Rainier, or about the underground kiva ceremonies at Mesa Verde.
But even wearing my husband’s felted wool Akubra hat isn’t going to make me an Acadia park ranger, sadly. I’ll have to rely on my knowledge as a painter. I’ll be talking about Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Winslow Homer, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, Edward Hopper, and others, and why the Maine coast drew them irresistibly from New York, just as it drew me. If painting is your thing, please join me.
That will be at the Moore Auditorium at the Schoodic Institute in Winter Harbor, on August 12 from 7 to 8 PM. Admission is free.
By the way, I’ve been telling people my workshop at Acadia is sold out, but looking at my mail, I see that I’m wrong—there’s one seat left. If you want that spot, let me know.